January 27, 2012


More articles by »
Written by: Mitch Salem
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


AMERICAN IDOL‘s best days are behind it.
FOX:  Idol gave FOX an easy win for the night, but it continues to be 30% below last season, and last night dipped 0.3 from its first Thursday.  It appears as though the show didn’t even win the time-slot for its first half-hour, falling behind BIG BANG THEORY on CBS (although Idol recovered at 8:30PM).  Again:  a 5.4 rating these days is still tremendous, and Idol isn’t going anywhere, but it’s no longer the fearsome beast it’s always been.  The best news for FOX last night was that THE FINDER did a very robust 2.9 at 9PM, although the number (which may come down if Idol had an overrun) comes laden with asterisks, as it faced a mix of repeats and atypical competition in its hour.

NBC:  The network let it be known this week that, with much of THE OFFICE cast not under contract after this year, it’s already starting to prepare for a post-Office schedule by developing a Rainn Wilson spin-off that could start airing in early 2013.  Last night it got a look at what an Office-less Thursday might look like:  with a fresh 30 ROCK airing at 9PM, not a single show on the once-Must-See night could reach even a 2 rating.  In the Ignominious Department, THE FIRM, even with reruns on the other networks, only scratched its way to 1.0.
CBS:  Big Bang, as noted, seems to have beaten Idol at 8PM, and even though ROB declined at 8:30PM, its 3.5 was still quite strong.  After that it was repeats, although it’s worth noting that the MENTALIST rerun at 10PM equaled the combined ratings for NBC and ABC in the hour.
ABC:  Conserving its original episodes for February sweeps, the network was all-repeat last night, with nothing over a 1.5.
CW:  Preempted the schedule for the dreadful theatrical movie The Covenant (featuring a couple of Gossip Girl actors) and managed a 0.5.
Tonight we bid hail and farewell to CHUCK, which was never a breakout hit but managed to hang around fairly entertainingly for 5 seasons. Although series finales are notoriously tricky, up to now the show has remained admirably faithful to its mythology and tone, so let’s hope it sticks the landing.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."